This is a DIY Homemade Heavy Duty Workout Bench. I wanted to design something that was cost effective. Some pieces of the bench could be salvaged from other items at home (like the bench cover and padding, and possibly the wood itself). This bench is designed to meet the specifications of a powerlifting competition bench per USAPL standards.
DIY Homemade Heavy Duty Workout Bench – Materials Needed
2 – 45 in 2×4
4 – 10.5 in 2×4
2 – 15 in 2×4
1 – 39 in 2×4
1 – 48 in 1×12
1 – 2’x4′ 1″ thick plywood (cut to 12 in wide).
1 – box 2 3/4 deck screws
2 – corner braces
1 – yard pleather/polyester (preferably 50 in wide so the piece is at least 50″x16″)
1 – 4 pack 16″x16″x1″ seat padding
1 – 60″x50″ fleece blanket Something to staple or nail down the bench fabric
The 4 10.5″ 2×4 pieces will be screwed onto the feet of the bench which are the 2 15″ 2×4 pieces. I started by taking 2 10.5″ pieces and screw them together. I made sure the boards were flush with no overhang. I ended up with 2 pieces at this point. As you can see from the still shot, the 15″ pieces were centered onto one end of the 10.5″ pieces. I screwed one 15″ piece to one of the 10.5″ pieces. Then, I did the same for the other 15″ piece with the other 10.5″ piece.
Then, I stood the two T pieces I just made in an upright position around 3.5′ apart from each other (the long 15″ board should be on the ground). I placed the 45″ 2×4 over top of one end of the T pieces and made sure it was flush over top (nothing should stick out/over). I drilled down that board into place. Then, repeated that using the other T piece following the same guidelines. Then, using the other 45″ board, I screwed that on top of the first 45″ board to add a layer of thickness. I could’ve used a 4×4 for this piece but I like the layered aspect here as you can easily see the integrity of each board versus a 4×4 being more dense (and harder to determine).
I added a brace on the inside portion of the underside of the bench to each end. This would be on the inside of where the 10.5″ piece and the 45″ piece now connect.
Using the 39″ board and I screwed it to the inside portion of one T piece about 6″ down (this acts to brace the bench). It doesn’t need to be exactly 6″ down, just so long as it doesn’t attach to the bottom of the 10.5″ boards. Then, I needed to countersink the screw into the first 10.5″ board by about 3/4″ in. After that was done I drove a few screws in to the board to secure it. Then, going to the other T piece I did the same to secure the 39″ board to the inside of the other end.
Next, I put the 48″ board over top of the prior drilled down 45″ boards. This is the part I’d be lying on, so I had to center it over top of the 45″ board. If it’s too far left or right then the bench would be more likely to tip. I drilled this in place.
Then, using the 16″ padding sections to place on top of the 48″ board one by one. I then folded a fleece blanket over top of that to add a little more density (at a low cost). I also made sure the fleece blanket went outside of the 48″ board so when the polyester top was placed on, and stapled down, it wouldn’t tear the polyester material.
Then, I laid the polyester material over top and started stapling it to the underside of the 48″ board on one long side. Then, stretched it slightly over to the other long side at stapled it to the underside. Then, I worked on one short end followed by the other. Finally, I trimmed any excess.
I was thinking of adding some more brace pieces to where the feet attach to the uprights (the 10.5″ boards) to prevent any potential wobbling as the weight increased. It has held up incredibly well so far.
This should NOT be considered a how to for making a workout bench. This is merely an example of the DIY Homemade Heavy Duty Workout Bench.
DIY Homemade Heavy Duty Workout Bench – Overall thoughts
I did my best to plan out this build to make sure it would suit my needs but also be durable. I was planning on benching a decent bit of weight (at the time my 1RM was around 315-320 at 170lbs). I did not want to have any issues with the bench buckling for any reason. I used this bench for several months before upgrading to a different flat bench (seen on my channel). I didn’t want to have to redo the bench and just felt that steel was a more long term solution. I have seen other gyms that do have all wood in their gym, but to each their own. This bench did and does serve it’s purpose. It’s great for when I have some supersets to do and need another bench. I have found it particular helpful for doing seal rows. That way I can get my seal row setup in place and superset it with how I prefer.
I hope you enjoyed this layout of the DIY Homemade Heavy Duty Workout Bench.